Farris Martin, 39, left her 9-year-old and 4-year-old kids outside a McDonald's Sunday where KCRA-TV reports they were seen huddled in the bushes.
The New York Daily news reports homeless man David Hernandez spotted the kids waiting outside for more than 30 minutes.
"Huddled up together, teeth chattering, just totally freezing," he said.
Hernandez called police, who put the children in a warm patrol car and waited for Martin to return.
She returned, reportedly intoxicated, and was placed under arrest for endangering the life or health of a child. The children were taken to another family member and Child Protective Services was notified.